“Meet the Press” anchor Chuck Todd grills senator: “You don’t trust the FBI and CIA?”
8 October 2019
An exchange on Sunday between NBC News’ “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd and Senator Ron Johnson (Republican from Wisconsin) sums up the right-wing basis on which the Democratic Party and its media allies are conducting their impeachment drive against President Trump.
In the interview, Johnson refused to condemn Trump for withholding military aid in order to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the role of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in his son Hunter’s business dealings with a Ukrainian oligarch, the central issue in the impeachment inquiry.
The senator, who cosponsored a bipartisan bill to send arms to the right-wing anti-Russian regime, also sought to defend Trump’s demand that Kiev investigate collaboration between the 2016 Clinton election campaign and Ukraine in depicting Trump as a stooge of Russian President Vladimir Putin and charging Moscow with hacking Democratic Party emails.
At the beginning of 2017, in advance of Trump’s inauguration, the CIA and the rest of the US intelligence agencies officially adopted the fabricated narrative of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election and Trump campaign collusion. This became the basis for a secret FBI counterintelligence investigation into the Trump White House, which then morphed into the nearly two-year investigation by Special Council Robert Mueller. The current impeachment drive is an extension of this CIA-driven campaign.
When Johnson evaded Todd’s questions concerning Trump’s bullying of Ukraine to advance his personal electoral chances, and instead repeatedly raised the Clinton campaign’s collaboration with Ukrainian officials against Trump, Todd exclaimed as though in exasperated disbelief:
“Do you not trust the FBI? You don’t trust the CIA?”
Johnson replied, “Absolutely not,” to which Todd responded incredulously, “You don’t trust any of those agencies?”
Nothing could more clearly reveal the role of the Democratic Party and its media allies in fronting for the intelligence agencies than this exchange between the “liberal” news analyst and the right-wing Republican defender of Trump. The Democrats’ alternative to Trump’s efforts to establish a form of presidential dictatorship and create a fascist movement based on anti-immigrant racism and extreme nationalism is to install a government directly run by the CIA and the Pentagon.
The Democrats and their media chorus present what was rightly known as America’s “Murder, Incorporated,” along with its domestic counterpart, the FBI, as pillars of “democracy,” improbable as this would seem to anyone familiar with the criminal history of these organizations. They evidently believe that the public is infinitely gullible and suffering from collective memory loss.
These, after all, are the organizations that justified the war in Iraq on the basis of the Big Lie of “weapons of mass destruction.” They created the fraudulent narrative of the “war on terror” to justify aggressive wars in Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa that killed millions and destroyed entire societies. Meanwhile, in Libya and Syria, they funded and collaborated with Al Qaeda-linked terrorist militias in wars for regime-change.
The CIA has engineered coups and installed military dictatorships and far-right regimes all over the world. It would take many volumes to detail all of the lies and crimes of these pillars of the “deep state” against the people of the United States and the entire world.
The rest of Todd’s program underscored the right-wing basis of the impeachment drive. It highlighted as well his personal role as a mouthpiece for CIA propaganda, which is shared by the bulk of the media and its network of millionaire talking heads.
Todd’s next guest was Senator Chris Murphy (Democrat from Connecticut), who co-sponsored with Johnson the bill to provide more arms to Kiev. Murphy repeatedly attacked Johnson for a lack of “patriotism.”
The final guest was John Brennan—now a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC—whom Todd presented as a national hero unjustly slandered and victimized by Trump and his political allies. Introducing the 25-year veteran of the CIA, who served as deputy executive director under George W. Bush and director under Barack Obama, Todd asked: “And how would you explain to somebody, you have been completely character assassinated and eviscerated … Do you understand how you got here?”
Brennan replied that he has indeed been “pilloried as an example of the deep state.” To which Todd exclaimed indignantly: “Well, at this point, it’s a campaign to destroy the credibility of the intelligence community. Even now, Senator Johnson would not affirm that he trusted the CIA and FBI right now. What does that say about those two agencies right now and their ability to conduct the work of protecting America?”
Brennan took the opportunity provided by Todd to denounce the “disinformation” that is “inundating the airwaves,” singling out “social media platforms,” with the implication that media sources that do not disseminate the CIA line should be shut down or censored.
Who is this titan of American democracy? As a top CIA official under Bush, he publicly defended “enhanced interrogation,” “extraordinary rendition” and CIA black sites, i.e., abduction and torture. Under Obama, he first headed up the drone assassination program, selecting the targets for state murder (including American citizens) and presiding over the so-called “Terror Tuesdays” at which Obama and his fellow killers signed off on the targets for the next round of illegal executions.
During Obama’s second term, Brennan became CIA director, heading up the US war for regime-change in Syria that killed hundreds of thousands and turned millions more into stateless refugees. He teamed up with Obama to suppress a Senate investigation of the Bush administration’s torture program and illegally hacked the computers of Senate staff members preparing the report.
It is necessary for the working class to oppose Trump and fight for his removal. The fascistic billionaire real estate speculator personifies the financial oligarchy. His attacks on immigrants, tax cuts for the rich, cutbacks in food stamps, health care and other social programs, and his international war-mongering mark him as a deadly enemy of working people.
But the Democrats have either facilitated or openly supported these policies. They have chosen to launch an impeachment inquiry that excludes the democratic and social issues that affect broad masses of the American people. Instead, they are basing it on issues and a framework dictated by the CIA and sections of the military and foreign policy establishment that are at odds with Trump on foreign policy issues—particularly relating to Russia.
These forces within the state consider Trump’s erratic actions—calling off a military strike against Iran at the last minute, suddenly scrapping peace talks with the Taliban, announcing US troop withdrawals from the Middle East—to be harmful to the global interests of US imperialism. They have lost confidence in Trump and are determined either to remove him or force him to submit to their demands.
It is crucial that working people not allow their opposition to Trump to be channeled behind the CIA-Democratic impeachment drive. The working class must conduct the struggle against Trump independently of all sections of the ruling class and both capitalist parties. Its methods are those not of palace coup, but class struggle, which must be expanded to embrace all sections of workers and youth both in the US and internationally in the fight against the capitalist system, the source of inequality, war and dictatorship.